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January 25, 2024

Former state lawmaker, Waterbury businessman to receive 2024 Malcolm Baldrige Community Award

HBJ PHOTO | SKYLER FRAZER Selim Noujaim, executive vice president of Noujaim Tool Co., provides a tour of the Waterbury manufacturer’s shop floor.

The Waterbury Regional Chamber has named former state lawmaker Selim Noujaim, executive vice president of Noujaim Tool Co., as its recipient of the 2024 Malcolm Baldrige Community Award. 

Noujaim Tools, a family-owned business founded in 1985, is an advanced tool and die manufacturer, employing about 40 workers in Waterbury.

Noujaim served as state representative of Waterbury’s 74th District from 2002 to 2017. A popular Republican, he was known for supporting pro-business legislation.

He is also known for promoting a manufacturing apprenticeship program, which helps to train new generations of workers.

Noujaim came to the United States from Lebanon in 1971 and started the business with his brother, Joe, in their mother's garage.

Noujaim has received numerous awards and has served on local boards, including Seven Angels Theatre, Saints Peter and Paul Church Parish Council and Sacred Heart High School. 

The Malcolm Baldrige Community Award honors the late Malcolm "Mac" Baldrige, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Ronald Reagan. Baldrige was a former chairman of the chamber.

Nominees are considered for “supporting employment opportunities, for enhancing the overall economic growth and quality of life in the region, for playing a leading role in initiating new business or development, and for their community leadership.” 

Susan Sprano
Marya DiPerna

Also, the chamber will honor Susan Sprano, advertising director at the Republican-American newspaper with the 2024 Leadership Award, and Marya DiPerna, assistant director of events at Post University, with its 2024 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Sprano has worked in the Republican-American's advertising department since 2004 and became director in 2014. She is chairwoman of the Business Women's Forum and Main Street Waterbury Board of Directors. 

DiPerna is a graduate of the chamber’s Leadership Greater Waterbury program and is a mentor and steering committee member. DiPerna also volunteers with the promotions committee of Main Street Waterbury and is vice chair of the Business Women's Forum.  

The 28th Annual Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards Dinner is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. 

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